Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Naughty National Trust

 Wonderful beech trees in the field next door to Fyne Court... I love beech trees...

Now I know that regardless of it being as expected or being a bit of a disappointment a trip out and about is better than being stuck at home doing the chores... 
but when you get very few days to yourself to do something that "you" want to do its really quite annoying when a place is advertised as something its not its a little frustrating when you have travelled for over an hour to get there and its not very well sign posted 
.... Joanne and I decided to go to Stourhead again... and I (foolishly) suggested we try a new national trust venue called Fyne Court in Bloomfield in between Taunton and Bridgewater...

The National Trust say: 

  A real hidden Somerset gem, back under Trust management. Originally designed as the pleasure grounds of the Crosse family and the pioneer 19th-century electrician Andrew Crosse. Spend a magical day walking through the woodland garden, before meandering through bluebell-filled copses and the delightful meadows on the wider estate
 

Don't miss
  • Walk through an enchanting landscape with folly and boathouse.
  • Learn about the scientist Andrew Crosse, 'thunder and lightning man'.
  • Visit our nature reserve and follow our nature trails.

  Now I fully understand that it is October and the leaves are falling from the trees and that the bluebells will not be flowering but this place was a real mess
 
 I think this is the folly....

 I am pleased with this image of the window... I would liked to have gone further in but the doorway was barricaded with red and white stripey tape and the roof didn't look too safe... I think I might get this one printed and use it for reference for a pencil drawing... perhaps add a candle stick or something...

 It is in a pretty bad state of dereliction with rubbish and graffiti on the walls... the windows are broken...
This tower has some kind of metal wheels and ironwork in the middle so it might house the controls for the sluice gates for the pleasure boating river that they believe the Crosse family built to boat on and to feed the 5 ponds in the lower part of the garden... the other tower is being used to store really old roof tiles... maybe from the boat house and piles of something covered in dusty paper...

 The boating lake/river is overgrown and empty of water... at the end of this is a lovely little boat house and its roof has gone and its full of silt and mud...

we bumped into 2 girls that worked for the National trust and they had a couple of grass rakes and were heading along the "boating lake path" to rake the leaves off the paths... after talking to them we found out that a national wildlife society (can't remember exactly what it was called!) has run it for the last 30 or so years as a nature reserve... and the National Trust took over its management last year... the NT must have leased or rented it to the wildlife people as it says on the nerdnet that the NT have owned it for 37 years...the walled garden is a mess and the five ponds are full of silt and very overgrown... the water looks stagnant and as its in a valley between the hills it feels very cold and a little sad...
in fact I wish I had taken photo's to share with you but, you'll think me weird but it felt so sad I just wanted to get out... large clumps of brambles are taking over and the trees are chaotic and self seeded...
I realise its good to have natural landscapes and it would be wrong to turn it into a formal garden but a wild woodland garden would suit this spot... but leaving something to go naturally wild is different to managing a wildlife woodland...it takes work and effort and knowledge and an ability to know when to stop and not go too far...
it will take an awful amount of work and money to get it up to scratch... its not an easy place to get to and as a source of revenue and income I think its probably not a viable venture, such a shame... there is a garden under all the chaos that someone put a lot of thought and effort into and it has been lost...

 Joanne was a little disappointed too... 
I think if the National Trust had advertised it as "a project in progress" or even that the garden was being re-worked it would not have been so disappointing...
I suppose this is one of those incidents of learning that to slow down you have to learn to appreciate the small things as well as the splendid wonderfully huge things... Stourhead is a wonderfully huge manicured beauty of a garden and house... this was one of the small things.. unloved and discarded... maybe one day it will be loved again.... 

In an attempt to save the day and take Joanne somewhere that would raise her spirits I called into Montacute House... it said closed on the gate... but I thought "nah... it can't be!" so I drove straight on in... parked up... we got out and wandered towards the reception... the door was closed but the gate to the gardens was open... as were both members and wouldn't have to pay anyway we walked on through....

 The driveway leading to Montacute house
  Joanne had never been there... we wander around the back of the house and commented on how quiet it was .... that's when we realised it was really closed after all! lol

So we will pop back there again tomorrow...
I am not a great lover of formal gardens.. I much prefer a more natural wild garden but the architecture is amazing so hopefully I will find a few bits and bobs to photograph... ;D


big hugs to you all
Alex
x

8 comments:

marigold jam said...

What a shame to find it in such a state. I didn't know Montacute was closed weither or is it just on Tuesdays or something. I thought I'd seen a sign saying the gardens and cafe and shop were to be open throughout the winter there? Thanks for the tip off anyway.

Jane

Joanne said...

I knew it wouldn't be long before you had done a post about today. It may of been a disappointment but as always when with you I had a great laugh. It is only with you that I would see a sign saying Horse POO for sale, laugh about getting lost, walk into a closed Natational Trust property and to end the day pretending that you were a country lady with lots of money so we could get a look inside the new houses being built. I'm sure you could persude Les to part with 360'000 pounds to live in a 4 bed house next door to the likes of me the local housing riff raf.

Pink Feather Paradise said...

When I read your discription of me Joanne I have to say... I sound like a real nutter! lol

x Alex

Menopausal musing said...

Loving your adventures with your friend! :O)))))))

Sarah said...

That's a bit of a let down for a NT property. You're right - they should have changed the wording to 'work in progress'! We went to Montague House over the summer - there happened to be a wedding that day which was nice to see.
x

Maggie said...

I think you are so lucky to have a friend like Joanne, someone to be silly with... I too, have done the pretending to be posh to get a look at a new house! No matter how old and grey you get, having a friend to laugh and muck about with is still important. I envy you, no I shouldn't, no it's not a nice thing to do, but I do, so there.

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hi Alex
I've not heard of the place (obviously missed it in the handbook!) and it does sound as though there's a very long way to go to make it a great destination for visitors. What a shame. Glad you had a visit to Montacute though, because at least there was something good to see there!
I was amazed to read about your brother in the caves - wow! What an achievement! I couldn't do it - hate caves, REALLY hate caves !!!
D x

Itch2stitch.com said...

Hello Alex, sorry I have been missing a bit lately! They really should have made it clear that it is a work in progress, as it will be a long time before it looks like the description! Still it sounded a wonderful day spent in great company! Susie xxx